18th Regiment Louisiana Infantry
...Flag design is based on a small torn
section of the regimental battle flag which is on display in
the Confederate Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana. May 19,
1865. When the 18th
Regiment was disbandedthe flag was torn into ten pieces and
a piece given to each of
the ten company commanders. (Placement of Battle
Inscriptions is specualtive and based on similar Confederate
battle flags of the same period.)
John A. Kile (Kyle),
The monument lovingly dedicated to the memory
of their "Unknown Soldier", John A. Kile (Kyle), Pvt., Co.
C., 18th Louisiana Infantry Regiment and graciously donated
by the kind citizens of Owensboro,Kentucky. The John A. Kile
(Kyle) monument is located in the Elmwood Cemetery in
Owensboro, Kentucky .
Pvt., Co. C.
John A. Kile
At this point in time, we have been uable to
locate a photograph of John A Kile (Kyle) to place with his
biograph. Should any of the decendants of Mr. Kile (Kyle)
care to contribute an image of the late Confederate soldier
to this page, this researcher would be very grateful.
Pvt., Co. C.
~ Military Record
Kile, J. A., Pvt., Co. C., 18th La.
Inf. En. Oct. 5, 1861, Camp Moore, La. Present on all
Rolls to Feb. 1862.
THE NATCHITOCHES GENEALOGIST
JOHN A. KILE
By Ginny Tobin
* * * *
In October of last year, I remarked in a
conversation with Mike Marshall, that I would like to go to
Owensboro, Kentucky to try to find John Kile's grave. Mike
asked if I had talked with anyone up there. No, I had not -
it never occurred to me to do that. Mike picked up the
telephone and called the Daviss County Public Library and
spoke with Shelia Heflin in the Genealogy Department. He
explained to her that we were trying to find where John Kile
is buried and did they have records that would help us? She
replied - "Yes, he is our Unknown Soldier," and told Mike
that John is buried in the historic Elmwood Cemetery. How
simple! How amazingly simple! I was speechless, that Mike
found out in ten minutes what I had contemplated trying to
find out for several years. This proves you can't be too
timid in looking for leads in a genealogical puzzle. Don't
put off until tomorrow what you can do by telephone today.
If not for Mike's initiative in making that call I would
still be saying "Some day I'm going to Owensboro- - -."
Soldier rest, thy warfare o 're
Jacob Kile and his wife Sarah (Airhart), came
to Louisiana from Monroe County, Tennessee about 1839.
Traveling with them were Sarah's parents Nicolas and Sarah
Airhart, her brother Alexander and sister Margaret Lee and
family. Jacob and Sarah settled in Natchitoches Parish, just
south of Cloutierville, and it was there in 1840, their
first child John A. Kile was born. Sarah died about 1856 and
is buried in an unmarked grave some where near Cloutiervile.
The Kiles were neighors and friends of Francois and Sarah
Elizabeth (Wrinkle) Adle. Their children were playmates.
When Francois died, March 8, 1857, Jacob was administrator
of his estate. On April 1, 1858 Jacob and Sarah Elizabeth
Sarah Elizabeth had six daughters, one of whom was
Rosanna Francine. The childhood friendship between John and
Francine blossomed into love and on September 6, 1860, they
were married at Cloutierville by Justice of the Peace Adam
Carnahan. John was twenty years old and Francine was
seventeen. They set up housekeeping near Cloutierville where
John worked as overseer, possibly for his stepmother. As a
result of their marrige, and that of Jacob and Sarah
Elizabeth, Jacob was both father-in-law and stepfather to
Francine, and Sarah Elizabeth was mother-in-law and
stepmother to John.
On August 21, 1861, a daughter was born to John and
Francine. The country was in the grips of the Civil War and
John, along with his boyhood friends from Cloutierville, was
anxious to get into the struggle. On September 9th of that
year Capt. John D. Woods organized the Natchitoches Rebels
at Cloutierville, but his baby daughter was only nineteen
days old and John did not feel he could leave Francine at
that time.( 1) According to family legend he named the baby
Sarah Alease, possibly for both grandmothers, Sarah Airhart
and Sarah Elizabeth Wrinkle (Adle).
When Sarah Alease was six weeks old John bade farewell to
his family and traveled to Camp moore where on October 5,
1861 he enlisted in Co. C (The Natchitoches Rebels) of
the 18th Louisiana Infantry. From there the company went
to New Orleans where three additional companies joined them,
completing the regiment.
In mid-February 1862, the Eighteenth Louisiana
Regiment left New Orleans for Corinth, Mississippi, to
defend the vital railroads in that area. Without these
railroads the south would have been virtually helpless in
receiving supplies and moving men and equipment. Initial
attacks by Union forces had failed to destroy the railroads.
However, in early April, General Beauregard received word
that Buell's army was marching to Pittsburg Landing to join
forces with General Grant for a combined assault on General
Albert Sidney Johnston's army at Corinth. After consulting
his staff Beauregard ordered an immediate attack on
Pittsburg Landing, hoping to catch the Union forces by
Early the morning of April 3rd, the Confederates began
marching out of Corinth. Due to confusion over the proper
roads to take, improper communications, and the poor
conditions of the narrow wagon trails (rain had made them
virtually impassable), it took three days to cover the
twenty-three mile march to Pittsburg Landing. Wagons and
artillery became mired in the muddy roads, slowing the
marching troops, however, on the night of April 5th they
camped near the little log church that would give this
bloody battle its name - "Shilo." General Johnston told his
men that night, "The eyes and hopes of eight millions of
people are resting on you." Although campfires were
forbidden, they blazed throughout the Confederate camp.
Shouts, drum rolls and bugle calls echoed in the night. For
many young soldiers this would be their first taste of
battle and they looked upon the coming fight as a great
adventure; for many it would be their last battle and Pvt.
Kile was one of them.
The noise of the men and the blazing campfires caused
Generals Bragg and Beauregard(2) to consider calling off the
entire operation. They feared the Union forces had been
alerted and would be entrenched and waiting for the coming
attack. Nevertheless, Johnston was adamant, declaring,
"Gentlemen, we shall attack at daylight tomorrow." General
Sherman on the other hand was convinced the Rebels posed no
real threat and did not prepare for
what was about to happen.
On Sunday, April 6, 1862, just as the sun was rising, the
piercing blood-curdling Rebel yell startled the Union troops
as the Confederates swept down upon their camps. As one
Confederate soldier remarked, that yell "drove all sanity
and order from them and inspired the men with the wildest
enthuiasm." So began the Battle of Shilo (or Pittsburg
Landing) and two days of fierce fighting that were the
bloodiest ever fought on American soil up to that time.
Capt. Woods's Company of the Eighteenth Louisiana
Regiment went into battle at Shilo with fortytwo men;
twenty-six were killed or wounded. Among the wounded was
Pvt. John A. Kile. He, along with other Confederate
prisoners was put aboard a Federal gun boat for transport to
a prisoner-ofwar camp at Louisville, Kentucky, but during
the trip up the Ohio River he died of his wounds. His body
was deposited on the wharf at Owensboro, Kentucky, clad only
in a red undershirt and stuffed into a box too short for
Kile's tall frame. The only identification was a scrawled
note - "Dead Rebel, A. Kile, 18th Louisiana Regiment."
The citizens of Owensboro were so incensed over the lack
of respect shown a fellow human being that they had a proper
casket made and saw to it that Pvt. Kile had a decent
Christian burial. A law had been passed forbidding the
burial of Confederates in the cemeteries of Owensboro, or
the state of Kentucky for that matter, so Dr. Gustavus Brown
Tyler donated a section of his family plot for the burial of
the young soldier. A local photographer took a picture of
John Kile and it, along with a newspaper article about the
funeral service was sent back to Louisiana, and eventually
to John's family.
The picture and article were kept in Jacob Kile's bible.
The newspaper article read: "A Confederate soldier who
was wounded at the Battle of Pittsburg landing and who was
being conveyed as a prisoner, died of his wounds between
Evansville and Owensboro, and after being stripped of his
clothing, was thrown into an old wooden box which was about
three inches too short for him, and left on the wharf boat
to be buried by our citizens. A meeting was called by the
Southern citizens of the town and preparations made for a
suitable burial at 1 o 'clock on Thursday. Long before the
appointed time our streets were thronged with people from
all sections of the county, who had come to witness the
solemn ceremony. At 2 o 'clock the remains were conveyed to
the Methodist Church, where an impressive and eloquent
funeral oration was delivered by Rev. Dr. Nicholson. The
number of spectators at the church was variously estimated
at from 1,000 to 1,500. After the exercises at the church
were concluded the procession repaired to the cemetery,
where they deposited the remains of the brave but
unfortunate soldier, who died while nobly battling in
defense of his country and his country's cause.
It may be of some consolation to the friends of the
deceased to know - though buried among strangers in a
strange land - that he was interred in a manner becoming his
cause, and that thousands of sympathizing tears were shed
over his grave for the loved ones at home, and many a
fervent prayer offered up to God for his safe deliverance to
that haven of rest where strife, dissensions [sic] and
Abolitionism never enter, and where peace and harmony reign
Dream of fighting fields no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking,
Morn of toil nor night of waking.
The name of the soldier was A. Kyle. It
was stated that he belonged to Company C, 18th
Regiment Louisiana Volunteers. He was of dark
complexion, had black hair and eyes, and was well formed. He
was six feet three inches high."
The editor of The Louisville Journal showed his
displeasure with the showing of Southern sentiment and the
report of the funeral in theOwensboro newspaper by angrily
commenting in The Journal, "The comments of the Owensboro
paper explain and go far to justify the recently promulgated
order forbidding the burial of the rebel dead in our state."
The citizens of Owensboro placed a monument at John
It is an obelisk, four feet high. On it they had engraved:
"The citizens affectionately dedicate this monument of
Owensboro, Daviess County, to the memory of A. Kyle, C.S.A.,
Co. C 18th Louisiana Volunteer Regiment who was taken
prisoner at Shilo April 7, 1962. He died on a Federal
gunboat, and was put on shore at this city, where his
remains were tenderly laid to rest by Southern sympathizers.
A slip of paper on which were these words was found on his
person: "What more can a man do than to die in defense of
John A. Kile, or A. Kyle as stated on his tombstone, is
called the "unknown soldier" of Owensboro, Kentucky. They
knew his name (or thought they did) but nothing else about
him. My husband and I visited his grave in December of last
year and on it we placed an arrangement of Boxwood, pine
cones and red ribbons. We met and talked with Mrs. Elaine
Little who conducts tours of historic Elmwood Cemetery,
telling stories about the famous and not so famous people
buried there. She told us that when she conducts a tour of
school children she gives each child a carnation and tells
them if they are especially touched by one of the stories
they hear leave their flower on that person's grave. She
said most of the flowers are always left on Pvt. Kile's
John's wife Rosanna Francine married again to Edmond Bush
on the 21st of October 1866, and moved to Navarro County,
Texas.(3) His daughter Sarah Alease married John William
Tobin in 1876 at Kisatchie, Louisiana.(4) They were the
grandparents of my husband, Ted Tobin, and John Kile was his
great grandflither. Ted has John Kile's photograph and Jacob
Kile's bible in which is pasted the original newspaper
A very special THANK YOU goes out
1. Some of the men who enlisted from the
Cloutierville area were: Capt. John D. Woods, the local
doctor, W. P. Owens, Theodule Lattier, Felix Sers, L. P.
Fontenot, Charles Bertrand, Jr., three Hertzog boys, six
Rachal boys, A. B. Cunningham. Regimental Color Bearer, and
W. A. Jenkins, Musician.
2. General Braxton Bragg and General Pierre G. T.
3. Names of children by this marriage: Isidora, Nancy
Victoria, Rebecca Ann, James William, John Stephen, Edmond
Arenton, Jr., Thadeous Cason, Christopher Columbus, and Roy
4. The wedding was performed by Jacob Kile, Alease's
grandfather. He was pastor and founder of the Kisatchie
Union Methodist Church.
to Ms. Ginney Tobin for the article and excellent photo
regarding John A. Kile, Pvt., Co. C., 18th Louisiana
The poignant article entitled "John A. Kile", by
Ginney Tobin was reprinted with permission. The article is
October 1996, pp. 27-30.
A very special THANK YOU is extended to my
Edgar F. Cook for his tireless assistance and his
never-ending detective work uncovering information such
this page about James A. Kile (Kyle), Pvt., Co. C.